LIFE&STYLE

Melbourne Cup lunch to support education fund

By Korea Herald
  • Published : Oct 28, 2015 - 18:40
  • Updated : Oct 28, 2015 - 18:40

The Australia New Zealand Association, Korea will hold its annual Melbourne Cup Charity Luncheon on Tuesday in aid of education for a local children’s home.

The event will include a four-course meal at the Four Seasons Hotel in Seoul, alongside live coverage of Australia’s most famous horse race.

“It’s called the race that stops the nation and literally most people in Australia do stop to watch this three- or four-minute horse race, so we’re a part of that,” said ANZA welfare coordinator Cathy McQuade.

There will also be a raffle, along with prizes for best dressed and best hat at the luncheon.

“It’s a rip-roaring, frenetic event that ANZA is well known for in the expat community here in Seoul. There will be 200 people dressed for the race event with all of the ladies in hats. ... It’s quite a sight in the center of Seoul,” McQuade said.
Guests attend last year’s ANZA Melbourne Cup Charity Luncheon. ANZA

Funds will go to the Mubeopjeongsa Yongin House of Youth, commonly referred to as Big Mama’s House, a home for children and young adults ― many of whom are disabled ― run by Buddhist monk Mubong.

The house has looked after more than 50 children over the years, with 26 people still living there now.

The money will go toward an education fund set up by ANZA last year to help pay for adult education for some of the center’s residents who have grown up, one of the association’s pet causes.

“This orphanage was set up to keep siblings together,” said McQuade, explaining that if one sibling is disabled and the other is not, the government prefers them to be taken to different care centers. “This nun forgoes government funding so she can keep siblings together.”

“That’s why she is in a little bit of a harder position than other orphanages. By keeping the able-bodied children with the disabled ones, not all of them qualify for funding.”

She added that new rules governing the housing of disabled and nondisabled children mean renovations are also required, for which ANZA and other groups raised 27 million won earlier this year.

McQuade said there was about 30 million won ($26,500) in the education fund, and ANZA hoped to raise about 10 million won at the event.

Two girls at the center with mild intellectual disabilities are studying online courses with support from the fund, and McQuade said ANZA hoped to pay for college education for some of the boys there in the next few years.

It is one of several causes helped by the association, which raised a total of 100 million won for charity last year.

“We’ve become adept at throwing great events, which get the support of corporate sponsors and inspire the generosity of the expat community,” McQuade said.

“We take a lighthearted approach to events, but a serious approach to our charity work.”

The event runs from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., with racing shown from 1 p.m. For more information and reservations, visit www.anzakorea.com.

By Paul Kerry (paulkerry@heraldcorp.com)